If you recently had a baby and have a few pounds to lose, you’re not alone. It is common to have some weight to lose after having a baby. Many women hold on to some extra weight even after they have had time to heal and get back to normal. It can feel more difficult to lose weight postpartum because you are now caring for a newborn. Don’t be too hard on yourself! It is possible to lose the weight and get back to normal but it may take some time. You can get started on the process by reading through the 5 steps below that can help you lose weight postpartum.
Take your doctor’s recommendations seriously
It can be tempting to jump into a workout routine if you are feeling good a few days or a couple weeks after giving birth. If there were no complications during your delivery then the typical waiting period between giving birth and getting back to exercising can feel excessive. It is true that people heal at different rates and the standard recommendations for postpartum activity may not necessarily apply to you. The problem is that there are parts of recovery that are difficult to measure after having a baby. For example, during pregnancy and childbirth your body is filled with hormones designed to make the process easier. One of those hormones is called Relaxin. Relaxin loosens up your muscles and ligaments to get your body ready for childbirth. After giving birth, this hormone will remain in your body for a time. Getting back into a workout routine too soon could make injury more likely if the relaxin is still having an impact on your muscles and ligaments. Taking your doctor’s recommendations about postpartum weight loss can help you avoid injury and other issues. Ultimately, you will be out of commission much longer if you start working out too soon and suffer an injury. If you think you are ready to jump back into your workout routine, express that to your doctor and see if you can get the all-clear to get started.
Consider your new caloric needs
Your caloric needs are different postpartum than they were during pregnancy. In order to lose weight, you need to create a calorie deficit. If you are breastfeeding you need to consider how that will impact your caloric needs. The key to effectively lose weight while continuing to breast feed is to strike the right balance between creating a caloric deficit without dipping so low that it impacts your milk supply. Make sure the calories you do consume are from nutrient rich sources to for the health of both you and your baby.
Keep your water intake at recommended levels
Water intake is an important part of losing weight postpartum. Your body has been through a lot and keeping your water intake high is a way to ensure that it is getting what it needs to recover properly. Getting too little water can cause a number of issues that impact your ability to lose weight. For example, fatigue and lack of energy are warning signs of dehydration. Neglecting your water intake can make it more difficult for you to do the things you need to do in order to stay on track with your weight loss.
Make mobility a priority
Losing weight postpartum should involve some type of physical activity once your doctor releases you to exercise. Take some time to focus on mobility when you start getting back into a workout routine. The physical changes in your body along with lingering hormones like Relaxin can leave you a little unstable. Ease into working out and make mobility a priority. This will help you avoid potential injuries so you can continue with your postpartum weight loss journey without interruption.
Focus on resistance training
Once you are in a place where you can exercise without restrictions, focus your efforts on resistance training. Resistance training is an excellent option for weight loss because it increases your metabolism over time. As your metabolism increases you will naturally burn more calories at rest and during your daily life. A high-quality resistance training program will help you lose weight postpartum and make it easier to keep the weight off going forward.
If you are ready to get started on your postpartum weight loss journey, take a look at the programs available through MAPS Fitness. You can find programs to meet a wide range of needs including postpartum fitness and working out at home.